Trends: Historic Interracial Couples on Film

Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in 'Loving' (Evening Standard)

Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in ‘Loving’ (Evening Standard)

What a difference a year makes.

Last year, the conversation around movies in Hollywood centered around the fact that there was no diversity. #OscarsSoWhite gained prominence during the national conversation. It seems the entertainment industry listened, because movies with diverse casts and themes will be released. Even better, a couple of movies will tell stories from history that need to be more widely known than they are.

The story of Virginia couple Mildred and Richard Loving are featured in Jeff Nichols’ Loving. Mildred, a Black woman (played by Ruth Negga), and Richard (Joel Edgerton), a white man, were arrested in 1958 for the crime of being married when interracial marriage was a crime. The Lovings’ ordeal to have their union be legally recognized led to the landmark Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case in 1967. The ruling struck down every anti-miscegenation law still on the books in 16 Southern states. (At least in theory; several states still tried to unofficially enforce the law.)

Too few people know this story, and I’m glad it’s gaining more recognition. The case is seen as a landmark in the struggle for civil rights, and can be regarded as the spiritual predecessor to the recent marriage equality fight and decision.

Loving isn’t the only historic interracial love story debuting this winter. Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom focuses on the story of Sir Seretse Khama (played by David Oyelowo), a member of the Bechuanaland Protectorate’s royal family, and Ruth Williams (played by Rosamund Pike), an English woman and Khama’s eventual wife. The Khamas’ romance and eventual marriage set off an international scandal which took years to rectify.

Director Asante’s previous feature was Belle, the true story of a mixed-race English woman in the 18th century. I enjoyed it, particularly because it was something I hadn’t seen before: a woman of color in a period costume drama. Asante won my attention and my dollars with that film, so I’m curious to see her new one as well.

Loving will be released on Nov. 4th, and A United Kingdom will be released Jan. 17, 2017.


#ThrowbackThursday: “The Loving Story,” 2011

Richard and Mildred Loving, 'The Loving Story' (Documentary Daze)

Richard and Mildred Loving, ‘The Loving Story’ (Documentary Daze)

Documentary “The Loving Story” was released in 2011, and examined the lives of Richard and Mildred Loving. An interracial couple from Virginia, they were arrested for violating Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law shortly after their wedding in 1958. The film examines their struggle to remain married and able to live in Virginia, which led to the historic Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision of 1967.

The film was directed by Nancy Buirski, premiered in 2012, and won a Peabody Award.

Season 2 of Netflix’s “Jessica Jones” Will Only Feature Woman Directors

Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones (IndieWire)

Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones (IndieWire)

Hey Hollywood, you know all that bluster about how you can’t find female directors/writers, etc.? You know how you keep saying you want to diversify but you just can’t? Even though you’re trying really hard? Well, “Jessica Jones” is calling your bluff and raising it.

The Netflix series, which focuses on the Marvel character of the same name (played by Krysten Ritter), has been praised for its depictions of sexual assault and female friendship, among other aspects. And now showrunner Melissa Rosenberg has thrown down the gauntlet and declared that no one shall sit in the director’s chair unless their chromosomes are of the XX variety.

This isn’t the first time a TV series has hired solely women directors to direct its episodes. That would be “Queen Sugar,” co-produced and written by Ava DuVernay (who’s the first Black woman to direct a $100M movie). And that happened earlier this year.

No word yet on who’ll be gracing the director’s chair for the second season of “Jessica Jones” (and also no release date), but I can’t wait to find out.

But one thing’s for certain: Your move, Hollywood.



Hasbro Reports Sales Boost in Q2 2016 with “Frozen” and Disney Princess Toys

Hasbro's Disney Princess line (Elena's Closet)

Hasbro’s Disney Princess line (Elena’s Closet)

Toymaking giant Hasbro recorded better-than-expected sales in Q3 2016. And they have the Disney Princesses and “Frozen” sisters to thank.

Hasbro won the global rights to make the aforementioned toys from Mattel earlier this year.

The two toy lines helped boost the girls category revenue by 35%, bringing the total to $172M+. The lines also helped partner brand revenue grow by 15% (which was also helped by “Star Wars” toys). And even before the most recent earning report came out, it was estimated that the Disney Princesses line would generate about $60M in Q3 2016.

This demonstrates that girls (and the men and women who buy their toys) have some massive purchasing power. Let’s hope that this is taken into account before “Star Wars: Rogue One” hits theaters, so we actually have some action figures of lady badass Jyn Erso.




“Loving” Film Releases Interracial Emoji Couples

Love-Moji ('Glamour' en Espanol)

Love-Moji (‘Glamour’ en Espanol)

Given our current obsession with all things tech, Focus Features has found a fitting way to promote the company’s upcoming film “Loving:” custom emojis.

The Love-Mojis feature a variety of emojis of interracial couples in about every combination you could think of. So if you’re in an interracial couple, and you haven’t yet felt your coupling properly represented by the Unicode Consortium, your time has finally come!

Why is this important? Let’s start with the film itself: “Loving” follows Richard and Mildred Loving, a Virginia couple who got married in 1958. This wouldn’t be so remarkable except that Richard was white and Mildred was black. Their marriage happened during a time where interracial dating, much less marriage, was frowned upon, to put it lightly. Interracial marriage could bring a charge of miscegenation (race mixing, in plain terms).

The Lovings were arrested after their marriage for the crime of their relationship, and forced to leave Virginia. Once in D.C., they began legal proceedings. The Loving v. Virginia case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1967, the Supreme Court ruled anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional, which struck down said laws that were on the books of sixteen states. (All sixteen states were in the South. Shocker.)

Needless to say, this was a landmark case.

But why use emojis to promote it?

Since emojis debuted, the options for emoji couples were pretty stark. They didn’t show the breadth of real-life relationships in terms of race and also sexual preference. The new Love-Moji take this into account, and rectify the oversight.

There’s also the fact that using emojis has become a convenient visual shorthand for emotions we don’t particularly feel like typing out in words.

You can get the Love-Moji via app stores and at

“Loving” comes out on Friday, Nov. 4th.

Beyonce and Solange’s #1 Albums: By The Numbers

Beyonce and Solange Knowles (ET Online)

Beyonce and Solange Knowles (ET Online)

Musicians/performers/all-around FLAWLESS women Beyonce and her sister Solange each have achieved something many artists dream of: cracking the Billboard 200 chart. And now each have achieved the distinction of having an album reach #1.

But they also sit in a rarefied strata: Beyonce and Solange are only the third pair of siblings to make the Billboard 200 chart. They’re also the only sisters to achieve this feat.

Since this is such an impressive distinction for the Knowles sisters, here are some numbers that put their joint accomplishment in perspective:

Number of Siblings Who’ve Also Scored #1 Albums: 2

  • Michael and Janet Jackson
  • Master P and Silkk the Shocker

Number of Siblings Who’ve Also Hit #1 in a Calendar Year: 1

  • Michael and Janet Jackson, 2001

Number of Times the Knowles Sisters’ Albums Have Hit #1: 

  • Beyonce: 6
  • Solange: 1

Number of Times Beyonce Hit #1 With Destiny’s Child Albums: 2

Number of Solo Albums Each Knowles Sister Has Released:

  • Beyonce: 6
  • Solange: 3

2016 Album that Hit #1 for Each Knowles Sister:

  • Beyonce: Lemonade
  • Solange: A Seat at the Table

Number of Units Consumed Within First Week of 2016’s Album Release (includes full albums, streaming- and track-equivalents):

Number of Sales Within First Week of 2016’s Album Release:

Best-Selling Album for Each Knowles Sister:

#ThrowbackThursday: Solange, ‘True,’ 2012

Solange, 'True' (The Jewel Wicker Show)

Solange, ‘True’ (The Jewel Wicker Show)

It’s no secret I’m a fan of Beyonce. I’ve seen her three times in concert (The Mrs. Carter Tour 2013, On the Run 2014, and Formation 2016) because I think she’s one of the performers we’ll tell our grandkids about.

I also really like Solange, Beyonce’s sister. And the release of her new album “A Seat at the Table has led me to revisit “True,” her 2012 EP. The above still is from her song of the same name, which Solange filmed in Cape Town, South Africa with members of Les Sape Society. The entire video is beautiful, so definitely watch it if you haven’t yet. The EP’s excellent, too.